Z*Magazine: 16-Feb-87 #39From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/08/93-09:46:11 AM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 16-Feb-87 #39 Date: Thu Jul 8 09:46:11 1993 ----------------------------------- Zmagazine February 16, 1987 Issue 39 ----------------------------------- Zmag Staff: Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs Editor/Coordinator:Alan Kloza ----------------------------------- ____________________________________ This Week in Zmag...... <*> SUPRA CORP. GOES ONLINE IN COMPUSERVE CONFERENCE <*> ATARI IBM CLONES--RUMORS ABOUND ON 'NON-RELEASE' <*> COMPUTER SALES SLOWED AS BUYERS PLAY WAITING GAME <*> CHOCOLATE FLOPPY DISKS-- ARE THEY COPY-PROTECTED? <*> ATARI WORD PROCESSORS FOR THE 8-BITS--PART II <*> KNOCKING OUT CALL-WAITING WHILE YOU'RE ONLINE All this and more in this weeks edition of Zmagazine..... ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG ATARI NEWSWIRE ....Supra Conference on Compuserve. ___________________________________ Transcripts from the Conference: (Edited by Zmag for easy reading) Keith Ledbetter stood in as the Co-Chairman. (JERRY CROSS) WHAT'S THE WORD ON THE UPDATED VERSION OF EXPRESS? (Keith) -> well, I should have some time freeing up before long,so I hope it will be relatively soon..but I can't promise. (SUPRA CORP) Supra is here, just waiting. (Keith) I would like to thank Supra (Mark) for taking the time to be with us here today. They have always been vocal on CIS in supporting their products, and being with us here today just enforces that. Mark, any words you would like to say before we start the questions? (SUPRA CORP) Yes..Just some news of upcoming products. We have a new 1150 to fix the print shop problem, we are now shipping 20,30,60M drives for the 8 bit and we will have some new telecommunication products in 2-3 months. (Keith) Ok, Mark. Thanks. Let's open up the floor for questions. Respond with a '?' starting NOW... (Eric P.) ? (MATT COFFMAN) ? (JERRY CROSS) ? (Roy G.) ? (Patrick Richmond) ? (Keith) Ok, go ahead Eric. (Eric P.) Ok..what is the access time on the 60MB? (SUPRA CORP) No, the 20M is a 65ms drive, although on the XL/XE you do not see that great of a speed difference between the two. (JERRY CROSS) will the 8-bit hard drives (20 meg) work with the existing interface for the 10 meg? (SUPRA CORP) Yes all of our drives work with the same XL->SCSI interface, we are just changing the drive, controller for the higher capacities. (JERRY CROSS) What is the price for the 20? (SUPRA CORP) The 20M is $799, 30M $995, and 60M $1995. (Roy G.) Will the Supra hard drives interface to other computers besides 8 bits? (SUPRA CORP) Yes they will with very little work, it takes a new SCSI interface and the drives can be used on a ST, Amiga, Mac +. We sell the interface for the ST and Amiga. Several vendors provide the Mac + (Roy G.) I assume you can't just apply the interface to any hard drive for use on an 8-bit?? (SUPRA CORP) If I understand, yes you can use our interface with any SCSI drive or controller. We currently work with Xebecs, Western Digital, and Adaptecs controllers. (Roy G.) Do you sell the interface separately? (SUPRA CORP) Yes we do, 199.95, plus instructions for rolling your own. (Eric P.) How well do the 20MB and 30MB interface with the ICD MIO? (SUPRA CORP) There is no problem interfacing to the MIO board, you take the 50 pin SCSI cable to the 50 header in the MIO. (Keith) OK, guess it's my turn <grin>...Are there any new products (that you can talk about) planned for the 8-bits coming from Supra? (SUPRA CORP) Right now we are putting almost all of our resources into HD's and accesories (tape backup)...We are working on a new telecommunication project which will work on all systems for a very competetive price. (Eric P.) How many logical drives can the 20MB be divided into? (SUPRA CORP) We have an EPROM in our interface which you can setup to split the drive into as many as 8 logical drives. (Eric P.) How much can each drive hold? Each logical drive, that is. (SUPRA CORP) Each drive can be a max of 16M, this is due to the current DOS's. (Mike S.) You said earlier that Supra was coming out with a new version of the 1150 interface. Will there be an upgrade policy for people who own the earlier model, and if so, what will the policy be? (SUPRA CORP) The new 1150 is being done for 2 reasons 1. The timing problems the old 1150, MicroPrint had with SOME printers and Print Shop (This is fixed now on shipping MicroPrints). 2. It is redesigned for using cheaper parts. We will upgrade people having problems with PrintShop and their printers for $7.50 if they have had it over 90 days and free if they purchased it less than 90 days. (JERRY CROSS) -Are you planning a 2400 baud modem? At what price? (SUPRA CORP) Yes..at a price that is competetive with current 1200 fully Hayes-compatible. (Ben H.) I am under the impression that the Supra 1200 bps modem is identical to the Avatex. Is this true? (SUPRA CORP) Yes it is true, we OEM the Avatex 1200. (Ron H.) For those of us who are not used to working with hard drives, what exactly would we need to set up a hard disk system using a Supra HD and either your own interface or an ICD MIO? (SUPRA CORP) If you purchase our system, then you plug it in and go. We ship the drive with Mydos 4.3-> but you can use Sparta 2.3D. As far as setting up your own system, you would need our HD interface or the MIO, a SCSI controller, SCSI HD, and all of the power, cables, and case for the system. (Ron H.) Do you sell SCSI controllers? (SUPRA CORP) We sell the Adaptec AC-4000 (MFM drive) & 4070 (RLL) but those contollers are better suited to the ST as they are fast (1:1 interleave). For the XL/XE we suggest a 4:1 controller such as the Xebec or Western Digital. You can find those for $50-100 at any good electronic mail order shop. (Mike S.) (Maybe this question should go to Keith?) For my own clarification, which version of Express works with the Supra modem? (Keith) With which Supra modem, the 1200? (Mike S.) Yes. (SUPRA CORP) We have been sending a version of Express with our driver appended to it to any 1200 owner who calls us. SmartTerm 8.4 is still somewhat buggy. (Mike S.)Are you planning a future release of SmarTerm or is Supra going to provide Express with future modems? (SUPRA CORP) We are still providing SmarTerm but that should be changing soon. Future modems will not have Smarterm but rather Express. (How can you compete against the best?) (Keith) <grin> (Ron Kovacs) I am currently running your 10m drive on my BBS. Occasionally, as of late, I have noticed that the drive makes a tapping noise and takes 30 seconds to access a file. What could be the problem? (SUPRA CORP) Ok the noise is most likely the grounding strap, you can fix that by opening the drive and putting tape on a brass tab which is in the middle of the drive. As to your other problem, I do not know. You might give me a call at Supra so that I can get more info. (SUPRA CORP) Tech support 8-5 503-967-9081 or the office is 967-9075. (JERRY CROSS) I have several club members with a Supra 1200. Is the Express version you referred to available as public domain and if not, how can they get a copy? (SUPRA CORP) No, the version is not PD as we have appended our driver Simply call me and I will send a copy to you at no charge. (Eric P.) Does the Hard Drive DOS support booting off of the Hard Drive? Also, can the hard drive be set up as any drive number? (SUPRA CORP) We have a fake floppy set up on the HD as drive 1, so putting your dos there allows you to boot from the HD. By reburning a EPROM in our interface you can set the drive up to be any combination of drives 1-8. (Eric P.) Does Supra support a BBS? If so, what are the hours and number? (SUPRA CORP) The number is 503-926-1980 24 hrs, if we can keep BBCS from crashing. Oh it is also 300/1200. (Eric P.) Is there any information or files on the BBS about the hard drives? (SUPRA CORP) Yes, I have our complete catalog. I try to keep upcoming products current. Also I answer questions on our products. (Thought you might like that Keith hehehe). (Keith) Now that Supra has had time to work with the 'Tramiel Atari', how does your company feel about the 8-bit line of Atari. (SUPRA CORP) Boy, that one is a toughie, the big question is how long will the 8 bit line be profitable? We are still selling a lot of printer interfaces, some 300 and 1200 modems and some hard drives. At CES we asked Atari how sales of 8 bits had been. After much discussion they said that Christmas sales had been ok but not great. The ST is going to start eating into 8 bit sales at some point. The 'new' 8 bit machines look like they have at least another good Christmas, but after that, it is anyone's guess. We will still provide 8 bit proucts and services as long as we can make a buck or 2 which will most likely be a couple years yet. Those are some of the highlights of the conference. Zmag will publish more as it becomes available. ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE ....Atari IBM Clone In Trouble?...... ___________________________________ Online Today OLT-615 (Feb. 9) Atari's new IBM-compatible computers will not ship on schedule and industry gadflies are predicting the computers may never be seen. Computer + Software News reports two snags have developed that hinder the computers, which were unveiled at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show last month and had been scheduled for a March delivery date. The problems: -:- Atari has not yet applied for FCC approval, a process that can take 40 days at best. -:- The machines were to have included Digital Research's GEM interface, which would allow 700 ST software programs to work on the Atari PC. However, talks appear to have stalled. The trade paper quotes an unnamed DRI source as saying that negotiations are further apart now than when the machines were announced. "There are agreements and there are agreements, if you know what I mean," says Atari communications director Neil Harris, who stopped short of saying the firm has a written contract. However, a person on Atari's sales staff told C+SN that the machines don't exist. Atari denies that statement. Industry sources said Atari sought to divert attention at the Las Vegas show away from clones being offered by Commodore, Amstrad and Victor. Meanwhile, distributor CSS, which said it would carry the Atari line, said it is shipping 100 Blue Chip computers each week to mass market outlets. --Daniel Janal ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG GENERAL COMPUTER NEWS ....Computer Rumors Stifle Sales... ___________________________________ RUMORS HURTING COMPUTER SALES It's one thing to lose sales to a worthy competitor. It's quite another to lose them to an unseen force you can't do much about. That's the problem facing computer stores recently. Whispers that IBM Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. are preparing to release personal computers soon, is "having a very definite effect on sales," says William E. Ladin, chairman of ComputerCraft, Inc., a 27-store chain based in Houston. "We hear about a lot of companies that are holding back" on ordering. The problem of rumors is nothing new to computer stores, but that makes the problem no less vexing - partic- ularly when computer prices are at an all-time low. (From USA Today--all rights reserved) THIS FLOPPY MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH Michael Cahlin is looking for a legal battle to stir up some publicity and boost sales of his chocolate floppy disks. Cahlin, a Los Angeles-based public relations consultant who sells disks as a sideline, is seeking to defend the copyright of his $9.95 "disk" under a new court ruling that protects the "look and feel" of software. The legal question: Does a choco- late floppy disk fall in the category of software? Undoubtedly, the answer is no. But Cahlin argues that the combination of the plastic packaging and the chocolate (the software elements, as he calls them) creates a software product. None of this would be up for debate had the courts not changed the software copyright laws. In the past, programmers assumed they could copy the appearance of a program if they didn't copy the underlying code. Using that logic, future makers of chocolate disks might have to change their recipes to avoid a lawsuit from Cahlin. $2,500 BOUNTY PINNED ON TROJAN HORSE A "Trojan Horse" isn't just a legendary sham. It's also a type of software. When it's run by an unsuspecting computer user, the "Trojan Horse" destroys all data in his computer. Quicksoft, Inc. wants to try to crack down on the high-tech vandals that create these programs. The Seattle-based company is offering $2,500 to anyone who tips the company to the identity of the vandal who turned a copy of their "PC Write" word processor program into a "Trojan Horse". Two weeks ago, a version of "PC Write" showed up on a Los Angeles computer bulletin board. Two people tried loading the program into their machines and had the data on their hard disk drives wiped out. No tips have come in yet, says Quicksoft President Bob Wallace. ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG PANORAMA ....Atari Word Processors Part II.. ___________________________________ In the last issue of Zmag we reported on several of the commercial word processing programs available for the Atari 8-bit computers. We conclude the report this week with a look at several more of the popular text editors. ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1987. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. By GREGG PEARLMAN, ANTIC JUNIOR EDITOR LETTER PERFECT LJK's Letter Perfect has been around for Atari 8-bit computers since 1981. It uses its own operating system and cannot use files compatible with Atari DOS unless they are converted with LJK's Utility Disk. This translator can switch files back and forth between Letter Perfect and standard Atari DOS formats. You also need another translator disk (such as FIX-XL from The Catalog) to run Letter Perfect on an Atari XL or XE. We used Letter Perfect as our Antic word processor until PaperClip came along. One of the things we liked about it was that it could be used with the OmniView 80-column card. ($69. CDY Consulting, 421 Hanbee, Richardson, TX 75080. (214) 235-2146.) Getting to most of Letter Perfect's file commands requires you to press the [ESC] key, which takes you from the editing screen to a main menu. It takes a while to learn Letter Perfect commands. But once you do, you should have little trouble. Almost refreshingly, you can type as fast as you want and each character will appear on the screen almost instantly. Letter Perfect has an outstanding spell-checker. This, however, necessitates using yet another disk. But when you see how quickly the program counts words in a document and searches the dictionary disk, you won't mind. Letter Perfect's non-standard operating system is its biggest drawback. If you normally work with Atari DOS files, it's inconvenient to use a word processor that doesn't. And what happens if you find a word processor you like better? You must convert all your active files with the LJK Utility Disk. $99.95. LJK Enterprises, 7852 Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63119. (314) 962-1855. (Reviewed in Antic, March 1985, page 38.) SUPERSCRIPT With the British-designed Superscript, beginners can select commands from a menu structure, while experienced users can work faster with single-key [CONTROL] commands. Superscript and PaperClip are the only 8-bit Atari word processors that offer macros and arithmetic functions. The macros let you type out an assigned string of characters by pressing one key. Superscript's math processing is outstanding. You can calculate in columns, rows or tables within the text. In fact, you can automate the arithmetic with macros to create a mini-spreadsheet -- especially since text width can be scrolled up to 240 columns across. Print formats are very flexible and easy to customize. You can even print every other page, if you want to feed your paper through twice and produce a document that is printed on both sides of the page. And you can print alternating wide margins to allow binding. Superscript comes with an expandable dictionary which the distributors say contains 20,000-words. Actually, you get to choose between two dictionaries, offering either British or American spelling. You add your own personal words to the main dictionary simply by typing them in and pressing a single key. The program loads text only by line units, so you can run out of file space after 780 carriage returns. Fortunately, the disk storage scheme is more efficient. Superscript requires an Atari XL with at least 64K, or a 130XE. On the 130XE, the program lets you load two files into memory and flip back and forth between them. Just as in First XLEnt, you can move text between the dual files even though the windows are not onscreen at the same time. Especially if you use a lot of arithmetic in your text files, Superscript should be seriously considered as your word processing choice. $59.95. Progressive Peripherals and Software, 464 Kalamath Street, Denver, CO 80204. (303) 825-4144. (Reviewed in Antic, March 1986, page 13.) WORD MAGIC Word Magic from The Catalog is one of the best all-around word processors for the Atari 8-bit computer. It doesn't drop letters as you type -- you can go along at 200 mph and it will keep up. Wordwrap is fast, as is scrolling, either via the arrow keys or the joystick. The installation programs for Word Magic and the printer are easy to use. The program has several help files, and it can read files from other word processors that use standard disk operating systems. As with most products from The Catalog, the Word Magic documentation is on the back of the program disk. Like PaperClip, Word Magic occasionally locks up, we found. So it pays to save your file often. Also, Word Magic stores a line with only a single carriage return as 40 bytes. It treats that the 39 screen spaces after the return as bytes in the file, even though they're useless. Word Magic loads the printer driver from disk each time it prints. This is a comparatively slow process. One of the best features of this word processor is its spell-checker. Spell Magic ($19.95. The Catalog, APO144.) isn't literally part of Word Magic, but the programs definitely work hand-in-hand. And Word Magic can be copied to a disk containing Spell Magic, which makes things easier and faster. The spell-checker is very thorough -- although it takes some time to load the 34,000-word dictionary. When you load the file to be checked, the program counts the total words and unique words, prompts you to insert your personal add-on dictionary, if any, and then to insert the Spell Magic Dictionary. Spell Magic slowly scans the disk, which takes over 10 minutes. But then it very quickly checks through your document. Spell Magic also works with any other word processor that uses standard Atari DOS. $19.95. The Catalog, AP130. $29.95 for 130XE version including Spell Magic, APO160. HOMEPAK HOMETEXT Batteries Included's HomePak is best known for HomeTerm, an excellent telecommunications program. It also includes Hometext, a good introductory word processor and HomeFind, a good introductory file manager. All three programs can easily share data files. HomeText's maximum file size is only 6,620 bytes (1,000 to 1,500 words), which makes it suitable primarily for writing personal letters or short memos. It has very few editing commands, and its printing and storage commands can be accessed only by leaving the text window. Its stylized character set is somewhat distracting. But HomeText has an outstanding block-move function that leaves most of the others in the dust. Block move, delete and copy occur almost instantly -- but of course the small file size maximum is a factor here. HomeText is easy to use. If the command letter doesn't start the command word, at least it's in the command word and is highlighted -- as in EXIT to Menu. For some reason, HomeText's command symbols are more than one character long. In HomeText, the paragraph symbol is "Indnt-> 5." Highlighting a single letter in a word, as in EXIT above, makes it hard to read. $19.95. Batteries Included, 30 Mural Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 1B5, Canada. (416) 881-9941. (Reviewed in Antic, March 1985, page 74.) That about wraps it up. Recently, Atari computer users were asked what they used their computers for. Word Processing came out near the top of the list. Looking at some of the top-notch software that is available, it's easy to see why. ____________________________________ ZMAG RANDOM NOTES ...Defeating Call-Waiting Hang-Ups.. ____________________________________ If you have the "call waiting" feature on your phone line then you know what happens when you get an incoming call while you're online with your modem. The following information was supplied by Pennslyvania Bell concerning the call-waiting feature that will knock you off Compuserve or any computer network when it is activated. TONE BLOCK Tone block has been added as an enhancement to the call waiting service. This feature gives you the option of temporarily block- ing the call-waiting on your line. The call you make AFTER activating Tone Block will not be interrupted by the special tone that signals an incoming call. Here's how it works: OUTGOING CALLS: * If you have a 12-button touch tone set, push the [*] (STAR) button and then  . If you have a rotary or pulse dialing phone, simply dial 1-1-7-0. * Listen for the dial tone, then dial the number of the person (or computer) with whom you wish to speak. Tone Block is now in effect for that call only. Tone Block must be activated before you make each call and works only on outgoing calls, unless you have 3-way calling. WITH THREE-WAY CALLING: If you have 3-way calling in addition to call-waiting, the Tone Block feature can be activated before you make a call (as described above) or while your call is in progress. To initiate Tone Block with 3-way calling while a call is in progress: * Depress the switchhook briefly. This puts the calling party on hold. * Listen for three short tones and then dial tone. * If you have a 12-button touch-tone set, push the [*](star) button and then dial . If you have a rotary or pulse- dialing phone, simply dial 1-1-7-0. * Listen for dial tone, then return to the call in progress by depres- sing the switchhook. Tone * Block is now in effect for that call only. TO REACTIVATE CALL WAITING: Call-waiting is automatically reactivated when you hang up. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: Q: IF I'm using Tone * Block on a call, what happens if SOMEone else tries to call me? A: The party that is tring to call you will get a busy signal. Q: Can I add Tone * Block on an incoming call? A: Only if you also have three- way calling. Q: Do I have to use Tone * Block? Can't I just Leave call waiting as it is now? A: You choose when and if you want to use Tone * Block -- the remainder of the time call waiting will be in effect. Q: If I use my personal computer to transmit data over my phone line, should I use Tone * Block? A: Yes. You should activate Tone * Block to eliminate potential transmission interruptions. As stated in the beginning of this article, this information is supplied by Bell of Pennsylvania. The procedures described to circum- vent call-waiting works for their customers. Tone Block is available in other areas of the country but the procedures for accessing it may be slightly different. Consult your local phone company for more information. ----------------------------------- Zmagazine #39 February 16, 1987 Please Contribute!!! -----------------------------------
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